Success Stories: Norske Skog Flooring (NSF)

Success Stories: Norske Skog Flooring (NSF)

When Norske Skog Flooring (NSF) created a whole new product category they were worried their staff did not understand its complex benefits or could promote their new product over existing solutions. To solve this, they collaborated with an eLearning company to create their own knowledge management system.


Norske Skog Flooring (NSF) is one of Europe’s largest flooring material manufacturers. Recently their R&D department created a new interlocking flooring system called Alloc. This new flooring product created an efficient and cost-effective flooring option. However, construction, materials and installation process pushed Alloc into a new category of product. NSF were concerned that the market would not understand the advantages of this new product and would need to retrain their sales staff to explain the benefits to the customer.

What did they do?

NSF created a new initiative to train their sales staff in a completely new product line. To do this, they enlisted the help of Scandinavian Celemi’s Launch and Branding division. Celemi specialises in creating learning tools and processes to support the new products and their marketing. Together they employed Celemi’s learning marketing process to create a new online learning tool. This six step learning process creates a welcoming environment for the participant in the following steps:

  1. Create an interest.
  2. Supply just enough information (Just in time).
  3. Provide exercises to allow the processing of knowledge.
  4. Provide points of conclusion to reinforce sense of achievement.
  5. Lets users experience how their insights can be applied to the real world scenarios.
  6. Provide ongoing and continuous follow up.

This new knowledge management system was built of four ‘WorkMarts’. These WorkMarts functioned as online forums for experts, a collection of best practices and advice for new members. Each part functions as an online ‘area’.

  1. Sales staff work in a virtual store to interact with potential customers and customer examples. Here the sales staff could perfect their methods and learn to deal with a variety of customers. Two of the examples given are the customers of ‘Price is not an issue as long as I get what I want’ and ‘I want it now’ types.
  2. The second WorkMart was an area for sales staff to interact with the Alloc product. Here the focus was on matching design features with the corresponding benefits. This area was designed to apply what the sales staff had learnt in the previous WorkMart and give a sense of immediate gratification through success.
  3. This section provides an area for more detailed role-playing opportunities for specific questions that can be asked about the product. The goal of this area was to sharpen the domain knowledge of the sales staff and their sales techniques.
  4. The final WorkMart allows sales staff to participate in a project installation. This gave the staff the chance to develop better price quotations and understand the process of installation.

What they found?

  • The whole process was ranked very highly among sales staff.
  • Main points commented on are the novel approach of the training, it was simple and engaging, and it fostered teamwork and knowledge sharing opportunities that increased effectiveness and retention.
  • The stores that underwent the Alloc learning program had sales 50% higher that those that did not.
  • A major advantage was that NSF did not have to offer traditional bonuses for participation in the program. E.g. monetary or promotional.
  • The results were passed along to distributors to encourage continued interest.


  • Norske Skog Flooring’s (NSF) R&D invented a new industry wide product category. They were first to market.
  • They were worried their sales staff did not under the benefits of the new product or could promote said benefits to the customers.
  • They collaborated with a learning tool specialist company.
  • Together they created a knowledge management system to share best practices, industry expert advice, industry statistics and participate in role-playing sales activities.
  • Stores that participated have 50% higher sales than stories that did not.
  • Hugh learning initiative that didn’t need to use monetary bonuses for their employees to participate.


More information on this case study can be found in Carl Frappaolo's book 'Knowledge Management'.

Great book, a review will be published soon!